‘Civil rights trail’ sites sought

Published 3:51 am Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Later this month, Bogalusa will host a meeting of a state group that is interested in forming a new “Louisiana Civil Rights Trail.”

The Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) will meet Wednesday, July 31, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Community Family Life Center, located at 837 E. Seventh St. in Bogalusa. This meeting, which will be facilitated by LOT staff, is designed to get valuable input from citizens across the state, to identify and interpret historic events, physical structures and locations that helped shape civil rights history.

“We began this process in the spring to get an understanding of the potential important stories, people and locations across Louisiana that highlight this critical time in our history,” Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said. “Continuing this important work by reaching out to more communities is an absolute necessity to ensure we capture and share this history as best we can.”

The statewide meetings will provide an overview of the project, discuss the nomination process and criteria, and answer any questions that attendees might have. For more information about the meetings, call Sharon Calcote at 225-342-8146 or email her at scalcote@crt.la.gov.

Kathi Mayor, manager of the Washington Parish Tourism Commission, said that the meeting would be well organized.

Calcote is the Lousiana Byways Director and is coordinating the meetings. She will be accompanied by Glenda McKinley and Norman Robinson.

McKinley has worked with the LOT on numerous multicultural projects, including compiling the first Louisiana African American Guide, Textures. She also worked with the LOT on the development of the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.

Robinson is a former news director for WDSU and news reporter for WWL in New Orleans. He serves as the moderator at each of the meetings.

Following the completion of a similar meeting in Hammond in April, Calcotte noted that “some excellent ideas and suggestions were made.”

“Since we are at the very beginning state of this project, all input is very much appreciated,” she said. “We are seeking stories and sites that will tell the story of the civil rights movement in Louisiana. Sites can be interpreted in the broadest sense — it can be a person or an activity or a physical location.

“We are interested in collecting as much information as possible to develop a robust trail.”

A nomination form will be handed out at the July 31 meeting.